That was the year that was
Happy New Year, e-pards. Time to look back briefly over 2017.
There were 150 posts, the majority, as usual, reviews of Western movies but also not a few Western books.
The most popular post was The Westerns of Henry Fonda, which is interesting. Of course Fonda was a great Western actor.
Second, surprisingly perhaps (because it’s hardly a Western at all and isn’t really very good either) was the Robert Taylor picture Many Rivers to Cross. Three other Bob Taylor pictures also featured in the top twenty: Saddle the Wind (No. 10), Bob Taylor's first Western Stand Up and Fight (No. 12) and Return of the Gunfighter, his last, was 4th, no less, beating even Roy Rogers – still, My Pal Trigger came even higher than My Darling Clementine, showing the eternal popularity of Roy (and Trigger).
But John Ford’s work featured largely among the most read essays of the year. Sergeant Rutledge came third, followed by My Darling Clementine (Fonda again) at No. 6, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (8th), The Searchers (11th), Cheyenne Autumn (15th) and 3 Godfathers (17th). No sign of Fort Apache, surprisingly. The Westerns of John Ford was the seventh most read post of the year.
Other slightly surprising entries were the weak Brian Keith Western The Raiders, at No. 9, the weakish Jeff Chandler picture The Jayhawkers! at No. 13 and the Ray Milland clunker Copper Canyon at No. 14. Not the world’s greatest Westerns but there seems to have been interest in them. The ghastly Chuka was, amazingly, sixteenth.
The most popular books were Twelve Peers by Max Brand, the source novel of all those Destry movies, at 18, and A Texas Cowboy, the memoirs of Charlie Siringo, at 19.
The 20th most popular read was the essay on The hats. Quite right too, very important.
Of course, the earlier in the year an article was posted, the longer people have had time to find it. Otherwise June’s post on The Westerns of John Wayne and December’s on Randolph Scott would probably have been up there.
I find it interesting, anyway.
The most popular posts of all time, however (Jeff Arnold’s West started in May 2010) remain Wyatt Earp in fact and fiction and Billy the Kid in fact and fiction.
As to where readers live, the USA comes top by far, unsurprisingly, with 61% of the readership. France comes next, with 8%. I live in France and post from there so perhaps that’s why, though it’s also true that the French love their Westerns. 7.7% of readers are from the UK.
The most popular month of the year was March, with 14,496 hits. There were an average of 11,000 hits a month.
There you go, an update.
I hope you come back often as 2018 progresses, to read the pearls of wisdom (hem hem).